Dear College Katie,
Today is the day you step out into the world. You hard work in college is about to pay off! You will find a great job, with an even greater salary! You will work by day and play by night. In fact, you will even wonder sometimes why other people complained about this whole “being an adult” thing. You will have a couple of great years where you sow all those wild oats you should have in college. In short, you are going to feel like one of the Mad Men…at the top of your game.Be warned, though. All that glitters is not gold and after the luster wears off the hardships will set in. You will be experience the deaths of loved ones, failed relationships, job loss, and the degradation of close friendships. To be honest, you are going to have a few hard years and there will be lots of days where you close your eyes and think, “Why me?” In the decade ahead, when all this garbage is behind you, you will realize all the truly good things you have in your life that brought you through the mess. The sources of your inspiration might just surprise you.
You will find your passion and you will understand what drives you. Unfortunately for you, it will not be what you went to school for. Why does it always happen this way? If one can “fall for” a sport, running will be it. Running will not only be something you do, but it will be your biggest tool. With running, you (yes, YOU) will lose weight, be in the shape physically that you have always wanted, forge some of the best friendships of your life, and meet people that will continue to inspire you on a daily basis. Do not ever take these relationships for granted. Just as you help keep them going, they are the ones that will help keep you going. Don’t think there won’t be days that you need the extra push. The sport of running will become a part of your daily life and you are going to love it!
You will find the love of your life. You will have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince, but I promise you he is out there. And I will even do you one better…he will even put up with your runner wackiness. Say whaaaat!? He will understand why you want to be a crazy person and get up at 5:00AM on a Saturday morning and lace up your running shoes before the sun is even up. Prince Charming will usually have coffee and a good breakfast waiting for you when you get back. He will always be standing there in his pajama pants waiting to give you a big hug even though you are drenched in sweat. Always, always be thankful for this. In return, offer to clean up the kitchen after said breakfast…even though you hate doing the dishes.
You will tackle the hardest job of your lifetime, being a mother, but you are going to love it. Having a child is something you will have thought about ten thousand times, waiting for it to be your turn. Over the years, you will watch all of your friends announce their pregnancies; secretly hoping you were the one doing the announcing. In fact, at one point, you will even be told that you are not able to have children. And just when you finally get comfortable with the thought of not bearing your own children…along comes Baby Key. That is when you will realize that the thought of being responsible for another human being scares you to death. But you know what? You have got Prince Charming by your side. The two of you will learn what it is to love someone so much that you would trade your life for theirs before Baby Key is even born. Don’t ever forget this feeling. You will cling to the love of your husband and child in the even harder days ahead.
Even with all of these good things in your life, you will find there are days when you are in a hurry, get busy, and are not as thankful for them as you should be. Try to make those days as few in number as possible. Be active and move your body once a day. Guard your health and eat right. Give bear hugs to your family and friends. Kiss your child everyday…even when he wipes it off and says it embarrasses him. One day, he will appreciate it…just as you did when your mother did it to you.
Best of luck,